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Suppress Autojoin with the Shift Key

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A Mark Roberts handy hint

If, like me, you draw a lot of suburban streets to their correct size (see you will find that OCAD autojoins rather aggressively because it takes into account the width of the symbol when deciding the autojoin threshold.

Drawn offset – now joined!

So if you have autojoin on (I like it) and are zoomed all the way in (32x) to precisely draw a road which is 10 metres wide, OCAD will autojoin that road to any other similar road which is within 10 metres, which is 32mm on the screen! When drawing with the bezier/curve tool it will even bend the road to make it join.

Drawing two roads which don’t quite meet; if the distance between their endpoints is less than the width of the road they autojoin. When using the bezier tool not only does the endpoint move but also the angle.

This makes drawing roads that join at a roundabout very arduous as you have to correct all of the autojoins – not only their location but their angle. Even worse, the autojoin occurs when you finish drawing the object – so if you have panned as you draw the road, the autojoin at the beginning will happen out of sight.

Junction becomes an overpass?*!

Another example is a wide symbol (bike path with exaggerated width) stopping either side of a narrower symbol (narrow road) – the second bike path will always autojoin across the road to the first one.

Drawing a path which is broken for a road – if the path symbol is wider than the road symbol, the second line autojoins and leaps across the road.

This is obviously a bug but I have not been able to persuade the OCAD people to agree.

Ah, a solution of sorts

They have added a feature to OCAD 11 in response to my nagging: if you hold down the Shift key as you finish drawing an object, it will suppress autojoin. Note that different drawing tools finish drawing in different ways. The bezier/curve tool requires a right-click.

Drawing a road which joins a roundabout – if the road joins near the start/finish of the circle, it autojoins.

Shift is not the most obvious choice of key to suppress autojoin; if you hold down Shift when you start drawing a line it will force an autojoin and merge to any neighbouring similar object.

Organised Grime

Mark Roberts can be found hanging out at Organised Grime.

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